What is the Bipolar Spectrum?

This article is primarily written for health professionals/mental health professionals who have some knowledge of psychiatric disorders.

What is the Bipolar Spectrum?

There are vasts amounts of research and literature around the Bipolar Spectrum concept, large amounts of it theoretical and academic. Even when studying for my psychiatry exams I found it a very confusing topic.

In a nutshell, the Bipolar Spectrum is the spectrum between two polar ends of Major depressive disorder and Bipolar disorder. The concept of having either a Bipolar disorder I or II or a Major Depressive disorder is no longer black and white, and there is a vast amount of grey in between.


Why is it relevant to non-psychiatrists?

Psychologists/Occupational therapists and GPs, often see patients more frequently than psychiatrists, and therefore are in a good position to pick up some of the signs. Usually, these patients have had a previous diagnosis of a major…

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When Innocence meets innocence (day 2 of finding meaning in beautiful pic).


Here are two young beings with very little to concern themselves with. So what meaning does this picture have for me?…. It is pure innocence. What meaning does that have for me? They are pure and untarnished beings and souls. The deeper meaning of that for me is two different species with no blurred vision have a joyful and trusting connection… What meaning does that have for me? Life could be simpler if we saw the beauty right in front of us and trusted the process exercising patience.
#Rabbits, #Relationships, #Connections, #Trust, #Youth, #Innocence

Letter to a lost loved one from the dog.


Winston here. I wanted to “write” to you as I really miss you. I know my Mum has said before that if she had one wish it would be that she would want to be as happy as I am all the time.., just for one day. Her tail is definitely not wagging at the moment.

I want to tell you what it’s like from my perspective living in this house. When I came along…… My Mum came to this dodgy house where I was born and selected me out of all the other pups. She didn’t take me that night but came back the next day. I heard her tell the lady that she actually didn’t want me (can you believe it?), that she actually wanted a pup that wasn’t as white as me (there are no words as to how dumb she nearly was). I was determined for her to take me so I just licked her and didn’t leave her side. I made sure she chose me out of all the others and for good reason. Thankfully she did and I have done my best to never leave her side since. She took me home to my new home where I discovered these two other animal things and I think I was probably as shocked as you were at the sight of them (although I only had two to look at), when you came along the two had grown to 5, some more strange looking than the next. Then luckily 6 weeks later she brought home the love of my life, Lucy.

My Mum has always given me heaps of love and I return it in abundance and more. There have however been some curve balls since my Mum got married. First came Paige and then Georgia. Oh my word they took so much of her time and attention. Luckily for us she still walked us everyday and I stayed loyal to her no matter what.

Just when I thought there was enough heart beats in this home, these long eared hopping things arrived. At first I thought Mum had brought me a snack as I tried to have a bite but was severely reprimanded. So I thought it best to let them be and just give them the gears from time to time.

My Mum has never been unkind to me and I know loves me with all her heart. The strangest thing happened though. Those bunnies I was talking about had these tiny babies and then they started to move really quickly, so I thought I would help the mother out by bringing some order to the family system. I just couldn’t help myself so I caught them one by one and lined them out on the lawn to restore some order in this home. Oh my word, my Mum was anything but grateful, in fact she went tilt and smacked me. I’ve never seen that side of her as I thought she was a gentle and kind soul.

The reason I am telling you all this is because I know my Mum has a huge heart and its filled with an abundance of love, care and compassion. I am sorry that she wasn’t able to give you what you needed. I miss your voice and the way you call my name. I miss you throwing the ball for me and I miss that happy energy that you brought into our home.

Paws of Love
#Dog, #relationship, #Friendship, #loss, #animals

A photo and new perspective till Christmas

I have been inspired by Dr Ken Jennings who is embarking on a project which he called ‘on the balcony’. His task will be to take one photograph from his apartment balcony, every day between 18h00 and 19h00 for 30 consecutive days.

Being ‘on the balcony’ will mean that will be in the same place and at the same time everyday to look out and to see what whatever. This will challenge him to look out into the world through the lens of diversity and expansion.

I was so inspired by this but wanted to do something slightly different. My project is to try and take a photo of something everyday till Christmas of something that makes my heart feel warm and then figure out why. I want to know after each day “What that picture means to me?” and keep asking that question up to 5 times till I get a deeper meaning.
This picture shows reflection, something I really need right now. I need reflection because people close to me have let me down. It means that I need to make changes, and that means effort from my side. Ultimately that means that my boundaries need to be firmer!

Should I introduce my teenager to alcohol? The most important thing you can do as a parent to protect your child from alcohol and drug harm is to talk openly about the subject: 1- Get the facts There are a lot of myths about alcohol and other drugs. 2- Be clear in your beliefs |The safest option for children and people under 18 is not to drink. The guidelines show evidence that parental monitoring and family rules about alcohol do reduce the likelihood of young people drinking. 3- Look for opportunities to start the conversation Keep the conversation relaxed. Use relevant topics on the TV or radio and events as an opportunity to talk about alcohol and other drugs. It’s best to start talking about these issues early – if possible during primary school years. Try to have the conversation in a quiet and comfortable environment e.g. the family dinner table. Keep talking about these issues, there is no limit to the number of conversations you can have. 4- Ask questions Find out your child’s views about alcohol and other drugs. Talk about what they would do in different situations. 5- Make sure they understand the harms Make sure your child has the right information about alcohol and other drugs and correct any myths. Talk about the benefits as well as the harms of different drugs and why someone might use them. Don’t exaggerate the harms as it will make you sound less credible. 6- Set rules and consequences Let your child know your rules and the consequences for breaking them. Help them develop ways of getting out of situations where their friends are using alcohol or other drugs and they don’t want to be embarrassed by not taking part. 7- Be a role model When it comes to alcohol and other drugs, parents are the greatest influence on their children’s drinking habits. If you drink and act responsibly, your child is more likely to do the same later in life. A couple of points for parents to consider when having the talk are: – There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries some risk. – There is no way to tell what is in illegal drugs.

teenage substance abuse

Is this a losing battle?

Being a professional sportsperson is far more attractive to youngsters than it did 15 years ago. Today there is so much money in being a professional through sponsors, endorsements, prize money, appearance fees etc. The pressures and expectations from the sponsor, coach, manager, club, province, country and many more is enormous.

So when I a set about the work I do to empower youngsters against the temptations that come in the professional sports arena these days in the forms of Steroids, drugs, money, sex, betting, match fixing etc, I wonder if I am swimming upstream and losing a huge battle.

Do you think there is hope?

Addicts rock bottom vs Athlete caught doping

In a very simple sentence an addict needs to reach rock bottom before change is made or a shift happens, but when an athlete gets caught doping, match fixing or cheating etc they don’t appear to see it as a consequence and for many no change happens. Agree or disagree?
#Athletes,#Addiction, #Consequences , #RockBottom ,#Cheating, #Doping ,#Matchfixing

Before and after can assist in understanding the tragic moment

looking into ...

This morning, the judge in the Oscar Pistorius trial will decide whether he will be admitted for psychiatric evaluation in a mental institution.

When asked to comment about the prosecution’s intention to file for a court order to have him undergo psychiatric evaluation, Oscar Pistorius revealed a part of himself that concerns me. He stated that it was ‘a joke’.

While I know that this comment has an interpersonal context of meaning that should be considered, the words ‘a joke’ tells a story about Oscar that suggests that he has absolutely no idea of the severity of the death of Reeva Steenkamp and the present situation that he finds himself in. I feel that his comment reflects little or no remorse, little or no respect for the legal process, and actually suggests that he believes that there is nothing wrong with him psychologically. This suggests delusional thinking and indicates…

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